Multilingual Writing, Multilingual Translation

Passaport (© milton fernandez)

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Explore the possibilities and challenges of multilingual texts and formats


Most people in the world speak more than one language, and many writers choose to write in multiple languages - sometimes within the same text. This can be a challenge for translators, so how do we go about translating multilingual texts? British Library Translator in Residence Jen Calleja discusses with Sophie Seita (translator of Uljana Wolf) and Maltese poet and translator Antoine Cassar.

Sophie Seita is an artist, writer, researcher, translator and a Junior Research Fellow at Queens', University of Cambridge. She’s the translator of Uljana Wolf’s i mean i dislike that fate that i was made to where (Wonder, 2015) and Subsisters: Selected Poems (Belladonna*, 2017), for which she received a PEN/Heim Grant. She's currently preparing a London and New York performance of her piece Emilia Galotti's Colouring Book of Feelings, with costumes by Ciara Phillips.

Antoine Cassar is a Maltese poet and translator. Born in London to Maltese parents in 1978, he grew up between England, Malta and Spain, and is today based in Luxembourg. In 2004, after a 13-year absence from the Maltese islands, he returned to Qrendi, the village of his family, to re-learn a language he had almost forgotten. Unsure which language to write in, Cassar experimented with multilingual poetry for a number of years until settling for Maltese. Mużajk (Ed. Skarta, 2008), a collection of polyglot sonnets, was presented at the Leipzig Book Fair and at the poetry festivals of Copenhagen and Berlin. Cassar's half-Maltese, half-multilingual composition Merħba, a poem of hospitality was awarded the United Planet Writing Prize in 2009. Passaport, a long poem printed in the form of an anti-passport for all peoples and all landscapes, has been published in ten languages, and adapted for the stage in Malta (awarded Best Production and Best Actress at the 2010 MADC One Act Play Festival), France, Belgium, Italy, and Australia. Cassar's latest publication, Erbgħin Jum (Forty Days, Ede Books, 2017), is a book-length poem about childhood trauma, depression, and walking as self-therapy.


Name: Multilingual Writing, Multilingual Translation
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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Price: Full Price: £10.00
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